December 16, 2014

BLT Pasta Salad. {Vegan Recipe}


I am a vegan and I can say that I miss bacon.

That sizzling, salty, crunchy goodness. I am sure that I am not the only one.

But bacon is cruelty.

From the inhumane slaughter techniques to the gestation crates that the sows live in when they are impregnated over and over again. Bacon is also cruel to our health. The excessive sodium and nitrates used in commercial bacon production wreak havoc on our bodies.

Bacon production is also cruel to our environment. The factory farms are biohazards unleashing their toxic wastes and carbon dioxide into our lovely planet. The solution is simple: eat tempeh bacon instead of regular bacon!

The tempeh bacon, whether store bought or homemade, really satisfies the craving for salty and crunchy without being cruel. This recipe makes four main course servings or six to eight side dishes. My husband and I ate the whole bowl in a day. It is that good!

Tempeh Bacon

  • 1 pkg      tempeh (unflavored)
  • ½ cup     soy sauce
  • 1tbs        smoked applewood bbq seasoning
  • 1tsp        fresh ground black pepper
  • 1tbs        sucanat
  • Coconut oil for frying

Slice tempeh, lengthwise into very thin strips (think bacon strips). Mix all of the marinade ingredients together. In a shallow dish, layer the tempeh strips and top with the marinade. I let the strips marinate for about an hour, but you can marinate for up to 24 hours. I don’t think you’ll be able to wait.

Once marinated, fry the strips in the coconut oil over medium heat until very brown and crispy. Drain on a towel to soak up excess grease. Set aside.

Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • 2                 ripe avocados
  • 1 ½ tsp       dried parsley
  • 1 tsp           garlic powder
  • 1 tsp           black pepper
  • 1 tsp           dried dill
  • 1 tsp           coriander
  • 2 tsp           sea salt
  • Non-dairy milk to thin out the dressing (I used coconut almond)

Place all ingredients except the milk into a blender. Blend until smooth, adding milk until the desired consistency is achieved. This may seem like a lot of salt, but remember that this is all of the salt for the whole bowl of pasta and greens.

Pasta Salad

  • 8oz        whole wheat pasta, penne, rotini or bowties
  • 6            cups baby greens or shredded lettuce
  • 2            tomatoes, diced
  • 2            green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1            recipe avocado ranch dressing

Cook pasta, al dente, according to box directions. Drain, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking and put in a large bowl.

Add lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado ranch and half of the coarsely chopped tempeh bacon. Mix thoroughly. You may have to adjust some seasonings, like adding more salt and pepper. When I serve the pasta salad, I sprinkle each bowl with the remaining crumbled tempeh bacon. Enjoy!


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Author: Bria Luu

Apprentice Editor: Bria Luu / Editor: Renee Picard

Photos: Author’s own


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